November 15, 2012 / 4:31 PM / in 5 years

SAS sales hit by uncertainty over airline's future-source

STOCKHOLM, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Crisis-hit SAS has seen ticket sales this week hit by uncertainty over the airline’s future, a source with good knowledge of SAS bookings told Reuters on Thursday.

SAS said on Monday it planned to slim down its 15,000 workforce to around 9,000 through job cuts and asset sales. It needs union approval for the package or vital funding won’t be forthcoming.

“Sales are falling, you can see that quite clearly,” the source said, adding the decline was visible in private traveller bookings rather than the business segment.

“Yesterday was a really bad day with many, many fewer bookings than usual.”

The source estimated bookings on Wednesday were down about 30 percent from a normal Wednesday.

An SAS spokesman declined to comment on details of the company’s sales, but said SAS had had calls from concerned travellers.

“Considering the amount of press - and not very positive press at the moment - it is not a massive amount of calls or cancellations or lesser bookings,” SAS spokesman Johan Dyrendahl said.

The source said SAS’s loyalty programme, Eurobonus, had also been affected with members trying to use up points built up from earlier flights. (Reporting by Stockholm Newsroom, writing by Simon Johnson; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and Alistair Scrutton)

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